Welcome to Project Teach a Child. We are a fundraising organization whose mission is to raise funds to help with the expansion of the school for the poor in Madihalli, India. We were started as an inspiration of Monica Sawyer and Neelam Wadhwani.
Swami Omkarananda of Badarikashrama.
Monica and Neelam first met Swami Omkarananda, the Priest of Badarikashrama, when their parents moved to California in 1976. They were both in their single digit ages and bonded to Swamiji’s kindness and gentleness immediately. At the time Swamiji was performing small Hindu ceremonies for his few devotees out of a small room in his apartment. Since then, as the girls grew up, went to college, got married, Swamiji gathered money to begin a small temple, which then grew to what is now known as Badarikashrama in San Leandro, CA.
In 1983, as Monica was planning to enter college, Swamiji finally dove into making his own dream come true. Two acres of land were donated toward the establishment of an Ashram in India, and with the help of Swami Mangalananda and many dedicated devotees it has grown from a mere two-acres of barren land to over 50 acres of thriving orchards, mango gardens, coconut groves, a residential facility for visitors and ongoing cultural and spiritual activities for devotees. And now, as per Swamiji’s original dream, it hosts a primary school that benefits boys and girls in this rural area. They are in the process of building a middle school and high school to further the education of the children of the area.
Neelam and Monica have heard the stories from Swamiji and Mangala ji for years and have been fortunate enough to be able to donate funds to help further the cause. Swamiji is not one to ask for funds directly and has appreciated greatly the generous donations of his many faithful devotees. However, his current ambition to grow the school further to be able to benefit more children, has required him to ratchet up his request for donations. Although all of us already involved in the support of the Ashram and school can increase our donations, it has come time to start reaching out in more creative ways to the world community to gain support of this incredible work that is being done for the good of poor children in India. As everyone knows, the only way for a child to have any kind of chance for a better life in this world is to get at least a basic education. It is Swamiji’s hope to give these children a chance at a better, healthier, and happier life than they would normally have had if they were not educated.
And so, to this end, Neelam and Monica decided to start this site. Please enjoy the stories and information we share here. And if you feel so inclined, we would love it if you helped support this effort. Badarikashrama is not a large organization. There are no administration costs given to directors, officers, and employees of the charity. Swamiji lives on-site at the temple and only uses what he needs to live. Swamiji epitomizes spiritual awareness through active meditation, service, dedication and self-discipline. So most of the funds donated to the temple go to it’s many projects in service to the growth of humanity. For this reason you can feel assured that your funds will be used well for the purposes you intend. To learn more about how to donate, please go to: http://www.badarikashrama.org/donation.php
We welcome you to our little adventure here on this site. We hope it provides inspiration to you in your daily life. And if you have suggestions or requests please contact us. We’d love to find new ways to make this site as useful as possible.
With warm wishes for your most joyful life,
Neelam and Monica